The Waldo Tower Historic Society was founded with its sole mission to preserve this magnificent landmark. The Waldo Water Tower is located in Tower Park at 75th Street & Holmes. The society has eight board members including the officers and has full support from Councilman John Sharp, Councilman Scott Taylor, Water Department, Parks & Recreation Department, the Southtown Council, Waldo Area Business Association and several homes associations.
The Waldo Water Tower is 40 feet in diameter, 135 feet tall, was built in 1920 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Kansas City’s first water landmark was declared by the American Water Works Association in 1975. The Tower was listed in the World Book Encyclopedia from 1929 to 1946 as an early example of a continuously poured steel reinforced concrete structure. One of the largest reinforced concrete standpipes ever attempted was built due to Kansas City’s innovative and challenging use of this construction method. This one million gallon, steel reinforced concrete standpipe served the residents of Kansas City living between State Line and Troost – from 52nd Street to the southern city limits. It was retired in 1957.
A feasibility study was the essential first step to determine the needed repairs. It was graciously funded by the Kansas City Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) and managed through the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department. The assessment was performed on March 30, 2010 by Treanor Architects and their preservation professionals. We greatly appreciate the Sixth District approving funding of Phase One. However, this is only the beginning of the improvements of the Waldo Tower.
Our future plans for the tower include an elevator with an observation floor at the balcony level and lighting, possibly with unobtrusive solar panels. Landscaped walkways with ADA accommodations, flower gardens and historical interpretative plaques or signage will enhance the tower. Stately wrought iron, for security and added curb appeal, will replace the barbed wire fence. A safer and prominent entrance into Tower Park, with a larger accessible road to the Tower area and parking facilities are also part of the future needs.
We thank the community for coming together to preserve this unique landmark, reminiscent of a castle turret. It is the beacon of Waldo and an inspiration to Kansas City.